Guest Post by Melissa Davila BS, Dietetic Intern
Craving sugar? You’re not alone.
It’s common to have cravings when you’re pregnant, but not all cravings are good for you and your baby. Sugar cravings happen, but if you’re prepared, you can avoid giving in to junk food your body might be screaming for! A healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy is essential to support optimal growth and development of the fetus and the physiological changes that occur in the mother.
5 Tips to Fight Sugar Cravings
This will help avoid drops in your blood sugar that trigger food cravings. Try eating snacks in between meals and do not go more than 3-4 hours without eating something.
Add protein to meals and snacks
Protein helps balance your blood sugar. It also helps your body and your baby’s body grow and develop. Protein is especially important for building new muscle and it plays a role in your increasing blood supply.
Eat a Variety of Foods
Incorporating foods from all food groups– fruit, vegetables, dairy, protein and grains– will help you have a balanced diet. A balanced diet means there’s a good chance you’re getting all the nutrition for mom and baby.
Increase your Fiber Intake
It will help you feel full and also helps with constipation. Easy ways to increase your fiber include: eat at least 5 fruits and veggies each day, add chia or flax seeds to your smoothie or cereal and choose whole grain breads, cereals and pastas.
Eat Fruit Instead of Sweets
This is a much healthier option than eating cookies and candy, and it will help you avoid eating too much sugar. Keeping raisins or other dried fruit with you will make it easy to pop a few when needed for an energy boost.
Give in to Tiny Portions of Sweets
Sometimes you just have to have that chocolate! (You can read about the health benefits in my post here.) The key is to watch the portion size; keep it to less than an ounce at a time. You can do that by using Hershey’s kisses or only having 1 or 2 squares of a chocolate bar. Eat it slowly and savor the flavor!
Snack ideas to Curb your Sugar Cravings:
▪ Apple and string cheese
▪ Greek yogurt with berries
▪ Trail mix with Cheerios, raisins, dark chocolate and nuts
▪ Smoothies with fruit, vegetables and nut butter
▪ Banana with peanut butter
Forbes, L. E., Graham, J. E., Berglund, C., & Bell, R. C. (2018). Dietary change during
pregnancy and Women’s reasons for change. Nutrients, 10(8), 1032.
Orloff, N. C., & Hormes, J. M. (2014). Pickles and ice cream! Food cravings in
pregnancy: hypotheses, preliminary evidence, and directions for future
research. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 1076. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01076
Melissa Davila is a dietetic intern with Keiser University.